Our Wedding Day ~ Reception & Video

Last but not least. I wanted to share our reception photos and wedding video! No. 1, being a blogger, and No. 2, growing up in a world with Instagram and Pinterest, meant there was a lot of inspiration (and pressure) behind “the perfect wedding aesthetic”. I embraced it, and was so happy with how every little detail came together. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my amazing wedding planner, Amanda Schlagenhauf of The Bride Consultant. As an out-of-town bride, her help proved to be invaluable.

The Venue:  Discovery World, Milwaukee

Peter and I (well, mostly me) became obsessed with the idea of a tented wedding reception. I loved the idea of a quasi-outdoor space, with lots of white, nature, and natural light. The problem was, this is Wisconsin, and good luck getting the stars to align on weather in September. As we traipsed from wedding venue to wedding venue in the pouring rain a year earlier, I almost gave up on my wedding tent dreams … until we visited the Discovery World Museum. This gorgeous modern white building is located just feet from Lake Michigan, and has a beautifully constructed semi-permanent tent right on the lawn along the water’s edge.

It was perfect.

Flowers and Table Decor

As you’ve now seen in my previous posts, our bridal party wore dusty blue dresses and light grey suits. To compliment this color scheme and the white backdrop of the tent, I went with white linens and napkins, white and pale pink flowers with greenery, and plenty of gold accents. Our florist, Impressions by Esther, was absolutely amazing! She listened intently to my vision, and met with me numerous times to share silk mock-ups of the bouquets and centerpieces. That said, her work was better than I could have ever imagined. My advice to future brides is to do your best to articulate your vision, and then just trust. The florist is the professional — let them work their magic!

Click on the first photo to enlarge and scroll through the gallery

Paper Products + Favors + Signage

Much like the save the dates and invitations, I worked with Minted to design our menus and name cards. I stayed with the blue, pink, gold and white color scheme, and also color coded the name cards based on food selections. That way the servers knew exactly what to serve each person, including those with dietary restrictions,

Our florist also lent us these gorgeous gold frames to incorporate throughout the room. A number of the larger ones were used to hold the name cards, and the rest framed little signs and prints on various tables. These frames, in addition to the gorgeous gold mirror sign by Shelby Made It, coordinated perfectly with all the gold accents in the event space.

Lastly, my mom, aunt and I worked meticulously to create the Jordan almond favors at each place setting, complete with a cute little tag that said “Love is Sweet”. All these little details may seem silly, but in the end I’m so glad I put in the time and effort, because it brought everything together so nicely!

Click on the first photo to enlarge and scroll through the gallery

Cake + Grand Entrance

Oh my gosh, the cake! From a design standpoint, I wanted it to be simple. But from a taste standpoint, we wanted “wow” factor. After visiting four different bakeries in one morning, we decided to go with The Cake Lady, Not only was her cake delicious, but her designs were beautiful. Carrot cake and lavender cake were served to the guests, along with a table full of Greek pastries made with love by my relatives. The guests did not go hungry, that’s for sure.

As for our grand entrance? Be sure to check out our wedding video below to experience the full effect. Being huge football fans, we even did our own “touchdown” dance!

Click on the first photo to enlarge and scroll through the gallery


Speeches + First Dances + Dance Floor

First of all, our speakers KILLED IT! We had five: my dad, brother, sister-in-law, maid of honor and best man. Sounds like a lot, maybe even too many, except they each nailed it (and I’m not just saying this because I am biased). I can’t thank them enough for putting together such thoughtful and funny speeches. Want to hear them? Check out the wedding trailer + our longer feature film (below).

As for the music, when you can’t decide between a band and a DJ, why not go with both? We were so glad we did! Plantium’s 10 piece band lit up the dance floor all night, and their DJ played some of our favorite hits during the breaks. It was the perfect mix of oldies and top 100 hits, and the dance floor was packed all night as a result. We even got the bridal party out there Greek dancing to kick things off.

As for our first dance, Peter and I twirled to the band’s rendition of “For Once In My Life”. Then I danced to “I Loved Her First” with my dad, while Peter chose “Unforgettable” with his mom. Such happy memories.

Click on the first photo to enlarge and scroll through the gallery


Surprise Fireworks

To top of the already perfect night, Bartolotta’s put on the most incredible fireworks display over Lake Michigan. All the guests stepped out onto the lakefront to enjoy a fifteen minute show under the stars. We couldn’t have asked for a better end to an already perfect day.

Click on the first photo to enlarge and scroll through the gallery


Wedding Trailer

And now, the video you have all been waiting for! You guys, it is SO GOOD. The below video is just the teaser, if you can believe it! The unbelievable 15 minute feature film can be found on my YouTube channel, by clicking here. All the cinematography is done by the incredibly talented Imagination Designers.

Chicago/Milwaukee brides, I cannot recommend the Imagination Designers team enough! They are incredibly creative, and meticulously captured each moment. Barry and his team even stayed well beyond the contracted time because they didn’t want to leave without every last detail for the feature film.

And for all the rest of you brides-to-be, if you are on the fence about hiring a videographer, all I can say is DO IT! You will be so glad you did. Not convinced, watch my video below!


Details + Thank You

First and foremost, we want to thank our families for their support and love, and for helping make our wedding dreams a reality. Further thank you’s go out to our friends and family for standing up in our bridal party, or just traveling to be with us. Your love and happiness was so palpable in the room that day. Lastly, a huge thank you to all our vendors and partners. Each and every one of you played such a special role in our wedding day, and we are forever grateful!

For the full list of all our wedding vendors and partners, please see below:

Venue:  Discovery World

Catering:  Bartolotta’s Catering & Events

Wedding Planner:  The Bride Consultant

Photography:  Olga Thomas Photography

Videography:  Imagination Designers

Florals:  Impressions by Esther Fleming

Cake:  The Cake Lady

Band:  North Coast Management‘s “Plantium” Band

Paper Products:  Minted

Welcome Signage:  Shelby Made It

Dress Designer:  Maggie Sottero from Kleinfeld Bridal

Wedding Shoes:  Manolo Blahnik

Hair & Makeup:  Team Bride MKE

Bridesmaid Dresses:  Theia from Wedding Library

Men’s Suits:  Combatant Gentlemen

Men’s Ties:  Tie Bar

Want to see more wedding coverage? Getting ready photos here, ceremony photos here, and bridal portraits here!

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